Case study: Sandra Lyons
Sandra and James Lyons moved into their new home in Wicklow this summer.
They spent two years looking for a house to buy, checking out up to 80 different properties in the process.
When they found a property they wanted, they were shocked to discover AIB would not give them a mortgage.
Ms Lyons says: "We were taken aback. We both have permanent jobs, and we both had accounts with the bank all our lives. We have no car loans or other debt."
This prompted them to give up on their dream of owning their own home.
A chance encounter with a Permanent TSB worker at the Ideal Homes Exhibition recently changed their luck.
Branch manager Maurice Fitzpatrick in Newbridge, Co Kildare, encouraged them to apply to Permanent TSB for a mortgage and helped them through the process.
Ms Lyons is a family assessment worker for the child and family agency, Tusla, and Kildare Youth Services. Her husband James is an electrical engineer.
And last June the couple moved into the Old Post Office in Blessington, Co Wicklow.
They got a new managed variable mortgage from Permanent TSB with an introductory interest rate of 3.5pc.
The pair are delighted and relieved to be in their new home and are busy putting up shelves and arranging their furniture.
- CHARLIE WESTON